Drive Safe This St. Patrick’s Day, Law Enforcement Warns Against Drunk Driving
Wyoming law enforcement agencies urge residents to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day by not drinking and driving.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol advises that the number of drunk driving fatalities spike on St. Patrick’s Day; during the 2018 celebration, 108 crashes and three fatalities were reported.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration advises between 2013 and 2017, from March 16 to 18, around 234 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes nationwide.
In 2017, drunk-driving deaths totaled eight percentage points (37 percent) higher during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration compared to other days (29 percent). ,
Colonel Kebin Haller with the WHP said that, as of March 11, 29 drivers and occupants have lost their lives while driving on Wyoming roadways in 2019 alone.
“Many lives have been changed in an instant, often the result of poor choices,” Haller continued. “Please do your part by never driving impaired, putting away distractions [while driving], slowing down, and always buckling up.”
Highway patrol troopers, and other law enforcement agencies, will be out in force during the coming weekend.
“Troopers will be doing their part identifying impaired and unsafe drivers who made the bad decision to put others in danger,” said Haller.
Impaired driving offenses can cost a person: up to $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and much more, according to the WHP.
Before heading out this weekend, make sure you have a designated sober driver. Even if you choose to walk home, be sure to have someone sober walking with you.
The WHP advises that 32 percent of pedestrians killed in vehicle accidents had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent and higher.
A taxi, ride service, or another sober ride are also safe options.
If someone has been drinking and intends to drive, take their car keys away.
Residents are encouraged to call local law enforcement if they observe a drunk driver on the road by calling 911, the sheriff’s office at (307) 682-7271, or the Gillette Police Department at (307) 682-5155.